[Partner Post] Clearvision—Making a Difference For 70 Years

By






These are the seven boldly painted words you can find on the walls of ClearVision Optical’s Long Island headquarters. For the company that believes its mission is to make each day better for someone else, there’s authenticity and truth behind each and every one of those words.

where it all began.

When Fred Friedfeld opened the doors to ClearVision Optical in 1949, he set his mind to meeting the needs of independent eye care professionals. But there was more to his plan than simply offering up a selection of frames. For Fred, who at 21 earned one of the first optician licenses in New York State, it was about community. It was his industry insight, but also his finely-honed people skills, that helped lay the foundation for what would become ClearVision today, a leading eyewear supplier. For seven decades, ClearVision has adapted, evolved and grown — never losing sight of its core values.



“We have a unique culture at ClearVision, and
that culture was created by my dad.”The beauty
of him, and the legacy that he leaves, is that it
lives on in everyone in the company.”
- Peter Friedfeld

next generation.

For David and Peter Friedfeld, president and executive vice president of ClearVision Optical, the legacy of their father Fred, is not something they take for granted.
Committed to a business plan that emphasizes flexibility, opportunity, and change, the brothers continue to redefine ClearVision’s short and long term goals. “As a medium-sized company within the global world of optics, being innovative is how we distinguish ourselves,” says Peter.

Running a family business comes with a unique set of challenges, but the brothers learned early on how to balance the yin and yang of their management styles and personalities. By giving each other the space to do well and trusting each other’s judgment, they’ve been able to carve out unique roles. Over the years, they’ve benefited from the expertise and experience of both their parents. Their mother Mimi helped their father put ClearVision on the map. Many family members, including their sister Liz, have also worked for the company.

The idea of family also goes beyond that inner circle to include nearly everyone who comes in contact with this unique company. “My dad was very clear on that,” says David. Employees, suppliers, eye care professionals, business associates, and members of the community at large form what David refers to as “intersecting circles,” creating an environment that empowers others to do well and enables the company to be proactive and implement positive change in a timely manner.

a changing business.


Honoring the past while moving the company toward the future is no easy feat, but something the Friedfeld brothers have put their own spin on. That ability to change, to turn on a dime, to be responsive — but also proactive — is something they take to heart.

There is an attitude of permission that permeates these halls, and a widely acknowledged well-worn path to David or Peter’s office door. Everyone’s contribution is valued and treated with respect. It makes no difference if an idea comes from an intern who’s been with the company for three weeks or a veteran sales rep in the field.
That same permission extends to people outside the company as well. “We are accessible and approachable,” adds Peter. “We want our customers to understand that there are no layers here. Ideas get to us quickly and easily, and we can make things happen fast. That’s something unique we bring to the table.”

In many ways, it’s technology that drives this company forward. ClearVision Optical has programmers on staff who are building sophisticated apps and implementing software programs that benefit not just the company, but the optical industry as a whole. Looking at how other successful companies have handled inventory and expansion, customer service and employee engagement has led to a number of initiatives, including an aggressive foray into 3D printing, app development, automation, and employee education.

Technology is also driving the way consumers acquire goods and the speed at which those goods get to market. A commitment to 3D printing has enabled ClearVision to dial in on a better fitting product and improve the development cycle — all of which translates to a shorter, more efficient timeline from conception to finished frame.



when opportunity knocks.

Innovative technology, employee engagement and unparalleled customer service are the cornerstones of ClearVision Optical. Remaining open to new opportunities and leveraging the talent of its extended family, the company has found a formula that works. “One of the things I’ve learned from the past,” says David, “is that whenever you are faced with an opportunity or a problem, you have more power and more solutions than you think.”

Peter adds, “Always look at everything as an opportunity. And don’t think that just because something didn’t work in the past, it won’t work today. It may simply be that we did it wrong the first time.”

  



by the numbers.


seventy years of business, friendship and success
one hundred twenty-five employees
eighty member dedicated sales team
twenty student interns
eleven eyewear brands
six 3-D in-house printers
four years voted one of the Best Companies to Work For in NY State

corporate culture.

ClearVision Optical participated in nearly 30 philanthropic events during 2018
  • Five internal committees steer company initiatives: CVO Cares, Wellness Committee, Personal Development Committee, Customer Service Ambassadors, and the Safety Squad
  • Since 2010, a total of 215 student interns have passed through ClearVision’s doors
  • Summer Fridays often end in a game of lawn darts, inflatable bowling, or kickball in the parking lot
  • Every job promotion is celebrated with a superhero mask and cape to recognize the hard work and dedication it takes to succeed
  • In 2018, employees logged a total of 5,772 training hours